Quarter of UK workforce secretly looking for new job

Employers beware! Over a quarter of UK workers (27%) are actively looking for a new job but have chosen not to share this information with their boss or line manager. In fact, the number of people secretly seeking a new position represents 78% of all current jobseekers, according to research conducted by distance learning specialist Home Learning College. In total, over a third (34%) of those currently in work reported being on the hunt for a new position.

The survey suggests that men are more likely to be honest about their career plans. Almost two fifths (38%) of active male jobseekers reported that their boss knows they are looking for a new job, compared to just 31% of women.

There are also marked regional differences in the willingness of workers to share such information. While 44% of active jobseekers in the West Midlands have opted to tell their superiors they are seeking new opportunities, only 22% in East Anglia have done the same.

Percentage of jobseekers that have been honest with their boss by region:

  • West Midlands = 44%
  • Yorkshire and the Humber = 43%
  • Scotland = 42%
  • East Midlands = 36%
  • London = 35%
  • North West = 31%
  • South East= 30%
  • Wales and Northern Ireland = 29%
  • North East = 23%
  • East Anglia = 22%

“With the economy in such turmoil, and job losses rife across most sectors, it’s not surprising that unhappy employees are staying quiet and choosing not to rock the boat with their existing bosses,” says Dave Snow, Academic Director at Home Learning College. “However, employers should be aware that a vast proportion of their workforce is actively seeking, or at least considering, their next move.

“Organisations hoping to emerge from the recent economic downturn in one piece should do all they can to ensure staff are engaged, productive and happy. This doesn’t have to be in the form of pay rises or promotions but could focus instead on developing employee’s skills through internal or external training, which would demonstrate investment in their future.”

Catherine Roan, Managing Director of Careershifters.org, said: “There are many people wanting to change career at the moment, but it often isn’t a good idea to share this ambition with your boss, especially if you need an income whilst you job hunt. If you are really tempted to spill the beans, make sure you know why you want to do this, and try to put yourself in your employer’s shoes. If you are hoping they will help you, ask yourself if this is really likely to happen.”

For more information on Home Learning College and gaining new professional skills through distance learning visit www.homelearningcollege.co.uk.

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